TSGS Cruiser Blog

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Indiana State Fair 4-H Genealogy Project Judging

Judging Exhibits at 4-H State Fair

I had the pleasure & honor to judge 4-H Genealogy notebook exhibits yesterday at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis, Indiana. this was my second year and it is so neat to see the best exhibits from a large portion of Indiana's 92 counties. Jean and I judged the Division 3 entries. There are five divisions with Division 5 being repeated each year. Division 5 asks for eventually attempting to complete 8 generations of the 4-H members ancestors... which would be 254 individuals plus the 4-H'er for total of 255.

The notebook I am judging in above photo is one of three notebooks. This notebook contained the generation charts, family group sheets & additional information sheets. The two other notebooks stacked in front of me contain required photo copies of birth, marriage & death records, along with some photos and other documents to support the research completed by the 4-H'er. There are military, educational, occupational & church records included in addition to obituaries and other newspaper articles & photos of US Federal Census sheets and War Draft records. These exhibits are incredible compilations of research done by these kids and their family. This ends up being a family project including aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, grandparents & others. TSGS has had many of these notebooks from the Vanderburgh County 4-H Fairs on display at our Christmas events over the last 25+ years.

Above is a photo of several of us working on judging these notebooks... Becky West is to my right with the two ladies across from me at the table (judging Division 4 exhibits). The young lady standing at the file box is in charge of the Genealogy Project for the State Fair... behind her and only barely visible are three Division 5 (Advanced) judges. Not shown (further to my right) were four more ladies judging divisions 1 & 2.
Becky came along to keep company for the 3.5 hour trip from Evansville to Indy. I needed to be there at 9 AM their time (8:00 Evansville time). Allowing an extra half hour for a break and maybe delays in driving, I always leave 4 hours before arrival time. We had to leave at 4 AM Evansville time. We got up at 2:30 AM to get ready (and for me to get enough coffee into my body). We got to the registration table at 8:40 their time. I also entered two poster exhibits that were not sent by the County 4-H Office the day before. We took about a 45 minute break eating at the Farm Bureau Building (great lunch!). And then right back into judging... we were all done about 5 PM (Indy time) - this was essentially an 8 hour day. It was a lot of work... but is also fun, interesting and educational for us judges. One of the other judges & I may have a distant family relationship that we will be checking. We got home a little before 9 PM - a very long, but worthwhile day!
- Submitted by JGWest

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